Leading Arab authors and artists to participate in the Sharjah reading festival. Clockwise from Left: Heba Ismail Mandani, Faraj Aldhafeeri, Fidaa Al Zumar, Tayeb Adib, Wafaa Al Shamsi and Hooda Shawa Qadeumi. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Eleven Arab artists and authors, known for their outstanding contribution to children’s arts and literature, will headline the 12th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) taking place at Sharjah Expo Centre from May 19 — 29.

The 11-day educational event, organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), will carry the theme ‘For Your Imagination. There will be a total of 537 interactive sessions, including workshops and plays — some of which will be held on the ground, while others will be organised via virtual platforms.

Leading names

Renowned Egyptian actor and comedian Ahmed Amin, a popular writer and show presenter in the region, famous for his 30-second YouTube videos, will be presenting the Plateau show. Children’s author Nisreen Jaafar Al Noor, from Bahrain, will also participate in the upcoming SCRF edition. Her body of work includes stories and articles in prominent magazines for children, including Al Arabi Al Sagheer. She has also written several books, including Qisat Fanan.

Omani poet Dr. Wafa Al Shamsi, one of the most distinguished female authors in the Arab literary world, will share her poetry and other literary pieces, including fiction and plays, which have won many prestigious awards.

UAE artist

The festival will also host UAE artist and illustrator Aysha Al Hemrani, whose digital art takes inspiration from Emirati pop culture while drawing strong aesthetic cues from her childhood.

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The list of other prominent figures to attend SCRF will include renowned Egyptian children’s author Tayeb Adib; Jordanian Fida Al Zumar, winner of the ISESCO award for her work Ahlam Al Tfoolah; Egyptian children’s author Amro Samir Atef and Iraqi critic Hussein Ali Harf, a renowned expert in child and youth affairs, puppetry and school theatre. They will also be joined by Kuwaiti author Huda Al Shawwa Qadoumi, winner of Sheikh Zayed Book Award for her children’s story Rehlat Al Tair Ela Jabal Qaf.

Saudi author, media personality and researcher in children’s literature and culture, Faraj Al Dhafeeri, will also be present, as well as Kuwaiti children’s author Heba Ismail Mandani, who is well-known for her collection of stories titled Ahla Ayami